Tired of me talking about dogs?

So while the idea of getting a dog is still up for debate - here is the dog Dave has set his little heart on presuming I cave in and decide we can get a dog. He gave me the laundry list of why this dog puts Lassie to shame. That list is shown below:

  • Excellent hunting dog, great pointer & retriever
  • Level personality suited for families
  • Medium sized dog: 40-65 lbs
  • Short hair
  • Gentle-mannered, Loyal, Loving, Caring
  • Highly affectionate
  • Quickly forms close bonds with their owners, including children
  • Quiet - only barking if necessary or provoked
  • Excellent ability to take training
  • Self-cleaning dogs, only need to be bathed 5-6 times a year
  • Have little noticeable "dog smell" detectable by humans

Sounds like the perfect dog right? So he sparked my interest and I went on-line to do a little more research. Turns out Vizslas have some qualities Dave forgot to mention...how convenient.

  • Require 30 minutes to an hour of off leash exercise a day
  • Thrives on attention, exercise & interaction. If they do not get enough attention and exercise they can easily become destructive, hyperactive & neurotic
  • Under-stimulated Vizslas may also become depressed or engage in obsessive-compulsive behaviours such as persistent licking
  • Vizslas are totally unsuited to be kept outside as they do not have an undercoat.
  • Many Vizslas will sleep in bed with their owners if allowed, burrowing under the covers
  • Vizsla are known as chewers. If you want a calm dog, do not choose a Vizsla
  • The Vizsla is not recommended for apartment life. It is moderately active indoors and does best with at least an average-sized yard

So needless to say I'm feeling some reservations about the Vizsla. After all I would prefer a dog that doesn't require an anti-depressant or mood stablizier.

So a couple of questions:
Do you have or know a Vizsla? What do you think of it?
Do you have a non-Vizsla dog breed you can recommend?


A Recent Conversation

C: Mom, how do the people on the bottom of the world stay on? Why don’t they fall off?

Me (stalling for a good answer): Did you know people used to think the world was flat? Do you know who discovered the world was round?

C: God?

Me: No... God actually invented the world, so he already knew it was round.

C: Oh I know! I know! A GIANT ARMY OF BABIES!

Me (to myself): Yeah, we can definitely wait another year before putting him in kindergarten.


You believed what?

One of the downsides of building the fiscal year budget for my organization is I become painfully aware of how under paid I am. I happen to know the average associate in my department makes $142K a year (not including medical/dental benefits). Yep. Pretty depressing to realize I officially fall into the category of "well below average." In addition during the course of my 7 year career I've seen hundreds of people lose their jobs as our company struggles to make revenue targets. Every 3 months or so there is some sort of layoff where we lose the bottom 10% of our staff, if not more.

Thus, you can imagine my surprise when the following email was distributed by my companies official "security team" this week.

There's a new type of e-mail scam that's popular now that steals from the plot of the movie Three Kings. It claims to be from a former American soldier in Iraq who had found $20 million in gold and had hidden it before his return home. After he returned to Iraq as a humanitarian aid worker, he was injured by a roadside bomb and is now on his deathbed. He needs your help to get the money to a charity, and all you have to do is supply your bank account information for him to deposit the money There are several varieties of requests for information. He then promises to split the money with you.

Although this sounds like a genuine appeal for help in performing a good deed, none of this is true. It is just as bogus as earlier emails supposedly from foreign government officials who ended up bilking millions of dollars from unsuspecting people.

Any information you send him will be used to steal your money. If you receive such a request, just delete it.

Does this sound like a "genuine appeal for help in performing a good deed" to you?

How on earth are there electrical engineers with master's degrees at my company, making $142K a year, surviving lay off after lay off, who believe $20M in buried treasure is just at their finger tips?

If this sounds like a "genuine appeal" what does it take to make a request sound suspicious? Do we need to throw in that this injured humanitarian veteran lost his whole family in the attacks of 9-11, and was an adopted orphan from Cambodia which is why he doesn't have any surviving relatives? Should we mention that the roadside bomb got him while he was trying to help starving children cross a road so they could be reuinted with the families they haven't seen since the war began? Do the scammers need to ask not only for your bank account #, but also for your full name, address, date of birth, social security #, credit card #, passport, drivers license, temple recommend, the spare keys to your car and home, and a list of all on-line user names & passwords you have ever used or ever will use, with corresponding URLs? Would this be enough to tip my co-workers off?

I suggest my companies security team focus their efforts on identifying the people at my company falling for this scam, put them down for the next round of lay offs, and send some of their salary my way.


To prove my point

Friday night Dave and I took dinner to the neighborhood park with some friends who were visiting from out of town. After eating, we headed to the playground so my friend's kids could stretch their legs. The playground was busy - there were probably 50+ kids running around. The main slide tends to be a hot commodity so we found a spot near it to hang out.

As we talked & watched the kids our conversation was interrupted by a strange sound. We looked over to the source of the sound just in time to see a 50 year old woman emerging from this slide:

This my friends, was quite a site. I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture above, but the tube for this slide is really, really small. There are some attractions at this playground that an adult can comfortably enjoy. This is not one of them. Trust me - I've tried to fit into this slide. There is no way an adult can sit up as the hole is probably only barely 2 feet wide. And the curves are sharp so anyone taller than a few feet would get a real whipping from the slide. Obviously this woman was taller than 2 feet, so she was laying flat on her back when she flew out of the slide at a 90 degree angle. This made landing on her feet nearly impossible, which she wasn't able to do. Instead, she crumpled into a heap in the wood chips below.

My first inclination was to rush to her and offer help. I mean clearly she must have been trailing her child in the tiny wooden structure above and slipped and fell into the slide. Or maybe a pack of beefy 10 year olds cornered her, stole her wallet, and then forced her down the slide.

Just as I was about to make my move a full size black Labrador flew out of the slide and landed right on her head. Yes, a dog. As she got the dog off her head, tried to adjust her hair now covering her face, and brush wood chips off her skin & clothes, it probably would have been polite of me to look away. But I was too mesmerized. I couldn't even blink. I mean, I didn't want to miss anything - what if a dolphin came flying out of the slide next and I missed that? She awkwardly stood, giggled, and then realized I was staring at her. She quickly explained "She just loves to go down the slide, but is afraid to go by her self."


I'm pretty sure I was supposed to respond to her explanation, but I was too confused. I was scanning the immediate area for a little girl and could not find one. I blinked my eyes a few times to confirm that her little girl wasn't just wearing a really realistic dog costume. But no. There was no little girl.

Which can only mean one thing. This 50 year old woman navigated a series of child sized ladders, steps, and tunnels, with a large dog in tow, to get to the top of this slide. She stood in a line of probably 10 five year olds for who knows how long, waiting for her turn to ride the slide. Since 5 year olds tend to be bad at standing in lines & sharing turns, especially with unknown adults, she probably had to be somewhat force full to get that turn. She then managed to smash herself into this tiny tube, turn around, pull her dog in behind her, and descend the scalding hot metal slide only to land in a crumpled mess at the feet of all the other adults. All this so her dog didn't have to ride the children's slide alone. And this apparently is something she has done before.

Like I said, people around here go crazy for their dogs.


The great dog debate

For the past year Dave has tried to convince me to get a dog. I dated Dave for 3 years and thought for sure I had initiated all the right conversations to ensure compatibility before marriage. I asked the important things like:

"Do you want kids?"
"Do you expect me to do your laundry?"
"Even though you personally don't support ABC's 'The Bachelor' are you willing to turn the TV over to me each Monday night between 8 and 10pm?"

Somehow the elusive pet conversation never came up in our courtship. I didn't have a pet. He didn't have a pet. You would have thought if he felt strongly about dogs he would have had one when I met him. And I definitely do NOT remember my young women's leader ever suggesting I discuss dogs with a future mate. They really should update that manual.

The first year and a half of our marriage was blissfully free of pet debates. I blame Dave's (somewhat) recent dog desire on two things.

First off, these two aren't helping any:

Of Dave's 4 siblings, only 1 used to have a dog. But in the past few months the other 3 have picked one up (2 of which are pictured above.) Unfortunately these dogs are quite friendly and cute, weakening my resolve and strengthening Dave's position.

The other problem is we live in some sort of dog wonderland. Everyone, and I mean everyone in our neighborhood owns a dog. If you invite a friend over for dinner and tell them to "bring the family" be prepared to set a place at the table for a dog. As newly weds when we started attending the family ward the question of pressure from our peers was not "so...when are you going to start a family?" but instead "you don't have a dog? oh. hm. that's interesting. well...are you going to get one?"

Dave says yes. I say no.

My problem is in the absence of knowing this hypothetical dog (which I most likely would fall deeply in love with) all I can see is the negative:
  • Our beautiful 1920 woods floors covered is scratch marks
  • Our savings decline with each new vet bill and purchase of dog food
  • Me trailing a dog with a plastic bag, so I can pick up its warm, mushy poo and carry the stinky treasure until I can locate a trash can. Or worse yet, me running out of plastic bags and not knowing what to do with the latest treasure. Do I kick dirt over it & run?
  • Never going on vacation ever again, unless you count a dog park as a vacation
  • The lawn that Dave won't even let me WALK on, dead & dug up
  • My dog charging some poor terrified child, and becoming the person who yells out "don't worry - my dog is nice!"
  • Drool marks & dog hair, everywhere
  • The fear in my sister's eye as she relives the 3 unlucky times she was bit by a dog
  • Never seeing my families mountain retreat again as it is strictly a "no pet zone"
  • Dealing with horrific allergies I never knew I had
  • Sophie's choice. Do we spend $6,000 for a surgery that will hopefully extend little Sparky's life? Or do we sentence the poor little creature to death.

Am I being over dramatic? When I bring up these concerns, Dave replies "yea, but it will be fun!"

How do I argue with that?

Then in rebuttal he sends me email after email with pictures of puppies (like the one pictured below) with subject lines like "why don't you love me?"

He is totally fighting dirty.

So my friends what should I do? Should I buckle or stand strong? There is no option for compromise here.


Happy Birthday Big Brother

If there is one thing I've learned from my brother Rand it is to never miss an opportunity.

He's never missed an opportunity to succeed. He went to the best schools, studied the hardest topics, & took the most challenging jobs. He followed a path of success until he earned a job he loves. Does anyone really love their job? Yes - my brother.

He's never missed an opportunity to recreate. In-laws train for Lewis family reunions as my brother's schedule of recreation will surely leave you exhausted & sore. You would be wise to have some Vivrain on hand. A summer day will include a 2 hour mountain bike ride, 18 holes of golf, and a family tennis tournament. Winter days involve 7 hours of skiing, sledding or swimming at the rec center, and a pool tournament at night. And if you think he is neglecting his fatherly duties think again. He always has at least 2 of his 4 kids in tow.

He's never missed an opportunity to share. He shares his frequent flyer miles so his siblings can crash his family vacations. He shares his vacation home in the mountains, weekend after weekend. He shares his network of business contacts to anyone looking for a job. He shares his cell phone plan with my sister. And he's been known to share his sarcasm...somewhat regularly.

He's never missed an opportunity to serve. He doesn't just serve when asked. He pays attention to those around him, looks for opportunities to serve, and takes them. Last Saturday after 4 hours of helping my mom, he found out my brother-in-law was moving that day. Without being asked he drove straight there to see how he could help.

All in all he is a great example of how to live life. He is a wonderful father, husband, and brother. Happy Birthday Rand. I love you!


Like music?


Check out this internet radio website. My brother shared this with me - I love it. It has hosts of preset radio stations by music type that play all the old & new tunes. Even cooler you can customize your own radio station by selecting artists you like. The customized station will then play those artists & others that sound like them. You can ban an artist or song and they will never be replayed. Or you can "heart" songs to ensure they are played more regularly. Also, your favorite music isn't peppered with car dealership commercials, “radio personalities” talking through song intros, or traffic updates.

Bring out your inner DJ. Enjoy.



When this recycling bin spontaneously showed up on our front porch my initial reaction was amazement. “Wow” I thought, “How cool that the city of Denver realized I’ve been meaning to get on-line for the past two years and request a recycling bin for our home. They are really on top of their game - talk about a green city!” After my subconscious had a few seconds to break apart the logic of that initial thought, and realize that the city probably doesn’t keep a physic on their payroll, the sad reality started to seep in. In order to get a recycling bin for your home you have to order one. And I didn’t order one. Which can only mean one thing…someone else ordered one for us.

Crap. So my next door neighbor must be fully aware that I am the one who has been surreptitiously filling their recycling bin for the past 2 years. She must have gotten fed up and ordered us a bin of our own. Darn junk mail. It probably wasn’t my best move putting 5+ envelops with our name & address on it in their bin on a daily basis. I guess it wouldn’t take a detective to break the case.

This is the same neighbor who knocks on my door once a month to remind me that yet again I’ve forgotten to move my car for monthly street sweeping, and I better move my car if I don’t want yet ANOTHER ticket. And we are trying so hard to prove to our neighbors that we are real grown ups. Oh well. Maybe in retaliation I can knock on her door and tell her that John Kerry did not win the 2004 presidential election, and with another election looming, it might be time to take down her Kerry signs & bumper stickers.



Sorry for the extreme delay in new blog posts these past few weeks. I’m sure our many fans (all two of you) have been heartbroken. The Lewis girls found out some bad news about the Lewis dad, so blogging hasn't been on the mind.

My dad was diagnosed with Leukemia (AML) on Friday June 29th. The days following have been a whirlwind. My dad is in the hospital receiving treatment and will stay there for about a month. Everyone, including him, is doing quite well (or at least as well as could be expected). It is hard at a time like this not to feel gratitude for things previously ignored like:

  • Hand Sanitizer and its ability to keep germs away from my pops
  • Medical Insurance
  • Friendly nurses and their patient ways (except for the one that scolded my 40 year old brother)
  • Beds with the ability to move up and down
  • Having a cancer center in town
  • Personal prayers, and all the prayers that have been offered on our behalf
  • My newest little niece and the gigantic bows she unknowingly wears on her head. She better than anyone can get a smile from my dad
  • Prior patients who helped refine and improve imperfect treatments
  • TV remote controls
  • Photographs so we can plaster the hospital room with grandkid faces
  • A human being’s ability to adapt and change
  • Clipboards and crossword puzzles
  • Loving siblings
  • Email and the immediate / painless communication it provides
  • Crocks, the perfect hospital shoe
  • Annual Dr. Check ups and the fact that my dad is probably the one person who actually has those, annually
  • Extended family concern including the LIVESTRONG bracelets my uncle bought everyone as a reminder of their love & support
  • Private hospital rooms
  • Battery Packs that allow the IV/Chemo to keep running while my dad goes on walks through hospital halls
  • The Internet as a ready source of information
  • Marijuana and the wonderful anti nausea medicine it provides
  • A loving Heavenly Father who knows when to send extra peace, comfort and faith
  • Genuine concern of neighbors and friends
  • The golf channel
  • Hospital food. Can you believe my dad likes it? Tonight I heard him say “I wonder how they make the beef so tender.”
  • Priesthood blessings
  • My mom’s independence. Her ability to handle tough experiences with such strength
  • My big brother’s willingness to step up and take charge of all the fatherly duties. His optimistic attitude and ability to comfort all of us
  • My sister Laura’s dedication to visiting my dad for 3+ hours every day. The small unasked services she provides for my mom on a daily basis.
  • My sister Sara’s ability to see things from my dad’s perspective and advise on how best to care for him. Her attentiveness to all of us with phone calls and email.
  • My husband’s tenderness. His desire to drive 1 hour to mow their lawn & visit my dad after a 8 hour car ride; and before a 5 day business trip.
  • And of course most of all I’m grateful for my sweet dad. You could not ask for a better father. He is and always has been the perfect example, caregiver, and provider – even from the hospital bed “Well, if your mother insists on staying please walk her to her car and back to the hospital. I want to be sure she can find her car later when it is dark.” My dad has such a unique blend of talents and personality traits. His love for me and my family could never be questioned. Everything he has done has always been for us (except for maybe when he took us to Hawaii that first time, and we only went to the beach one day for an hour. I remember lots of pineapple museums, King Kamehameha statues, and sugar cane factories).

We love you so very much Dad.